Category Archives: This is only a test

Test Knit: Taliesin Shawl

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I am pretty sure this shawl is up there in the Top 5 Most Complex Patterns I’ve Ever Knit.

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The pattern is called Taliesin Shawl, and it is designed by Lucy Hague. It was a real privilege to get to test this pattern.

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I ran just short of my brown yarn (Bugga! in Oak Timberworm) with 9 rows left to go, but luckily had some yarn dyed by the same dyer, with the same red that peeks out of the brown. I kind of like the dramatic flair that the red gives.

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I learned several new techniques, including how to get cables to move almost horizontally. Neat trick!

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Test Complete: Girls’ Hearth Sweater

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The testing is complete!

This is the Girls’ Hearth Sweater, to be released on Ravelry this week.  I intend it to be Ellie’s sweater, but in the grand family tradition, I knit it a couple sizes large. The sweater as knit is a bit small for Katie, and quite big for Ellie, so both girls got to wear it for pictures.

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Katie asked if she could wear it to church tomorrow. I think I know what Ellie’s answer will be.

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Test knitting at warp speed

In a brilliant move, I contracted to test knit a pattern right before moving.

(I’ll wait while you shake your head and laugh. Really, go ahead.)

Moving has taken up more time than I planned (will wonders never cease?) and so I’m now in the position of needing to finish knitting and finishing, block, photograph, and review a sweater pattern in 5 days.

Thankfully, it’s an Ellie-size sweater, and also thankfully, I have been able to put some time in on it the past few days.

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Looks like I’ve got quite a bit done, right?

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NOPE!

We’re missing a sleeve, a button band, a hood (!), and a belt (double knit!). It’s a cute sweater, and the designer writes excellent patterns, so as far as test knits go, this one’s been a picnic. This picnic is now stocked with eleventy billion hours of DVDs thanks to a morning run to the library, and is about to launch into warp speed.

 

Test Knit: Tiny Dancer

If you are now humming/singing Elton John’s song right now, high five. If you’re including the Tony Danza word substitution, you totally rock. (Hold me closer, Tony Daaanzaaa…)

 

I had the privilege of test knitting this top. I love the very gentle shaping, the classic shape, and the versatility of the finished garment. I’d totally knit it again, probably raising the neckline a bit and shortening the sleeves just a tad.

I really liked this designer’s pattern layout, too. It was very easy to follow. I don’t think it’s listed in Ravelry yet, but I’m guessing it will be soon. You’ll be able to look at my projects there to hunt it down.

The yarn is Kraemer Yarns Tatamy Tweed. I picked it up almost 3 years ago (at the Salina stop of the Yarn Shop Hop) to make a different sweater for the Katezilla.  Time and inspiration got away from me and so it languished until this test.

She’s probably got a couple years of wear with this, and she’ll probably feel more comfortable in it when she’s a little bigger and it’s a lot colder outside.

It’s almost time!

Whee, hooray! In spite of a little nonsense over the name of this event, it’s almost time for what is now being called the Ravellenic Games!  I love this international gathering of crocheters, spinners, knitters, and other fiber artists!

Last Olympics, I knit this:

The Olympics before that I did a lot of spinning, and the one before that I knit this from my own handspun yarn:

This year I’m going to do a swirl jacket out of Knit, Swirl! by Sandra McIver. It’s going to be a little ridiculous, but I wanted a real challenge, and this Coat of Many Colors is going to be so challenging (timewise) that it is very likely that I will not finish it by the end of the games. If I do manage to finish, I will feel like the US swimmers of the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay felt 4 years ago. I guess that’s sort of the point of this whole exercise though, isn’t it? I need to do some swatching in the next few days, and some yarn prep, and then I’ll be ready for the opening ceremonies.

Until then, I’m still working on that red top test knit for Katie, a baby sweater, and the next pattern to be written and tested. Here’s a little peek:

If I like it when it’s done, it may become a State Fair Entry. Sean says I need to make sure that I tell the judges it’s my own pattern. Think that would sway the judges my way?  Now that I think of it, I could enter the sweater, too, assuming it gets finished!

I kind of missed not entering last year. Are any of you entering contests this summer?

This and that

I’m holed up in a room with an AC window unit with a feverish child. She’s absorbed by Pirates of the Caribbean, and I’m finishing up a little gift knitting.

It’s been a busy and fun few weeks in fiber land here. I’ve got another sock design being tested, and I’m testing another designer’s pattern, in Katie size:

It’s a bit further along now than this. It’s a lovely, plain top that I think Katie will find very useful this Fall.

Curvature’s release is going well so far. I’m looking forward to seeing more executions of the pattern. My testers did a fabulous job and came up with very different looks.

This cardigan is from an earlier test knit. I can share photos of it now, as this one has made its way to its new home (although, in this heat, I don’t think it will get much use for quite some time!).

It’s called Pevensey, and it’s a sweet cardigan in several little lady sizes.  It’s got a unique cast on, and the touches of lace are beautiful without being fussy or overwhelming.

Other testers used beautiful satin ribbon as a closure, but I saw the opportunity to use this button I’d harvested from an old dress.

I’m also working on another sock pattern I’m really excited about. It’s taken a bunch of tweaking to get the pattern just how I want it, but I’m knitting the prototype now and I’m very pleased. It always surprises me how absorbing pattern designing can be. I’m getting used to the process, and for me each time is a ride through excitement, OCD twitching and tweaking, anxiety during testing, relief at the end of a successful test, and anxiety again during the final edits and getting things uploaded and listed in all the appropriate places. Then comes the wait to see the reception of this new concept that has been the focus of weeks of work. There’s no feeling like it when the reception is favorable…and for that matter, none like it when it’s not! It’s a growing experience either way, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to explore it for a while.

Elizabeth Swan has just set the desert island in flames, and my little girl is giggling…how are you keeping cool these days?